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Assessing Your Facebook FanPage Performance: The Only Stats That Matter

April 2, 2012

We wanted to share this post– which is as good as we’ve seen in a long time- detailing the stats that matter in assessing your Facebook fanpage performance.

How to Analyze Facebook Insights to Improve Your Content Strategy [With Video!]” will help you focus on what matters while ignoring the distracting data-noise to understand whether and how your content posts are connecting with your fans.  If you are new to this blog, take some time to review our posts on content marketing, the lifeblood for successfully leveraging Facebook’s social graph to grow awareness and interest for your offering.

Here’s a peek:

Now, let’s trim all the excess fat. Delete columns bolded in black, and keep columns bolded in orange below.

  • People Talking About This: DELETE. This is the number of people sharing stories about your page. At first glance, that sounds lovely. But this includes people who like your page, people who post on your wall, and even people who RSVP to one of your events. The action of liking (or unliking) a page or declining an event are not actions that show any sort of engagement with the brand — or even indicate that people are talking about you.
  • Page Stories: DELETE. This metric is the “number of stories created by your page.” How is that different from above, or what makes it different? Facebook doesn’t tell us, and if you don’t know exactly what it means — cut it.
  • Lifetime Total Likes: KEEP. This is the number of people who have liked your page by that day. This is an important figure for observing how your content posting is translating into more attention and more people liking your page, letting you know they want to receive your content.
  • New Likes and Unlikes: DELETE. Spending your time tracking the increases and decreases in your page likes will only frustrate you. What’s more important is to focus on is how your overall number of lifetime likes is trending.
  • Friends of Fans: KEEP. This is the fans of all the lifetime likes listed above (AKA all the people who could possibly see your content). This is your pool of people who will potentially see what you’re posting. We’ll discuss this more in the next step.
  • Engaged Users: DELETE. Oooh that sounds nice! Don’t be fooled by the buzzword. Facebook tells us this is the “number of people engaged with your page.” This is as vague as page stories. If we don’t know how they’re engaging, we can’t use this metric.
  • Reach: DELETE. The endless reach numbers provided in your exported sheet — organic, paid or viral — focuses on the number of people who have seen your content. “Seeing” your content could mean a user scrolled past it in their feed, or it popped on their ticker. That doesn’t mean they actually looked at. There’s a big difference. Toss it.
  • Impressions: DELETE. Impressions is a measure of the number of times your content or page was seen. There’s no specificity as to who actually saw it, what they saw, or if there was any interaction with it. Who cares if they saw your page if they didn’t do something when they arrived?
  • Logged-In Users: DELETE. While your public page may be seen by users in search engine results, we can assume that most people who saw your content did so while logged into Facebook. Regardless, knowing whether they were logged in or not is not the focus of your analysis.
  • Page Consumers: DELETE. We’re getting warmer. This metric tells you the number of people who clicked on any of your content on your page. A link, a photo, a status. It even excludes useless clicks such as clicking your like button. This is what we want, but there’s a better metric coming next that we’ll use instead.
  • Page Consumption: KEEP. While this metric sounds exactly the same as the one above, it’s even better. This data point doesn’t focus on the number of people who consumed your content, but rather the number of total page consumption. One “consumer” could be consuming more than one post on your page, so this metric would count those two clicks as two clicks rather than one click from “one consumer” as in the metric above. This is what you want. You want to know that, of the content you are posting, how much of it is actually being consumed — actually being clicked.
  • Negative Feedback: DELETE. Having any social account means you’re ready to take the heat when things get negative and address them. You shouldn’t be focusing your time on analyzing how much of it you’re receiving, as it’s very difficult to measure how to prevent someone from having a negative experience. Sometimes it’s due to being in a bad mood and nothing to do with your actual brand. Facebook also doesn’t say how it determines if a comment is negative.
  • Check-Ins: DELETE. This is the number of check-ins at your business. Certain business pages don’t even allow users to “check-in” because the company page is not a brick and mortar type business. For businesses that do focus on people physically coming into their store, this could be interesting to look at, but for this particular content analysis, it serves no purpose in determining how it can benefit what you’re posting on your actual page.

Facebook also gives you other sheets of content which you can use for a deeper look into your analytics. But for the purposes of this tutorial, we’ll focus on the “key metrics” that will help you make better marketing content strategy decisions on Facebook.

After you’ve trimmed all the fat, you’re left with three data points: Lifetime Total Likes, Daily Friends of Fans, and Daily Page Consumption. This is the meat of your data; the figures that will help you understand how your content is performing on Facebook. Lifetime Total Likes tells you exactly how many people like your page, Daily Friends of Fans tells you how many friends of those total likes can be reached — your true total reach. Then, Daily Page Consumption tells you the number of people (out of the possible number of people who could have been reached) that were actually reached.

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